Earthquake in Nepal

September 19th, 2011

I was about to leave a social function at 6:30pm yesterday (Sunday), when the ground started trembling. I realised that it was an earthquake, so I guided all in the room to kneel down near the door and cupboards.

Once we felt that it was all over, we all ran outside. I started ringing my wife at home, but the mobile was not working so I rushed home. When I reached home, my wife told me she ran out in an open area as soon as she noticed that it was a quake. However, my kids were very smart. They did not come out of the house but instead covered their head and stayed calm under a big table until the tremor was gone. This was what they were taught in their school.

It was an earthquake measuring 6.9 Richter scale with the epicentre somewhere in the east near the Nepal and India border. The news reported that 21 people were severely injured, 68 people injured and over 200 houses were damaged in eight districts. The tremor was felt across 20 districts of Nepal. Three people were killed in Kathmandu after a wall of the British Embassy collapsed over a car and motorbike.

Nepal has been ranked as the 11th most earthquake-prone country in the world. In terms of human casualty risk, Kathmandu is billed as the most risk-prone area in the world.

The Practical Action Nepal Office is working to reduce disaster risk, but it is mostly in the field of community based disaster risk reduction and mainly floods and landslides. Practical Action has worked with communities in Peru to build earthquake-resistant houses. Now it is high time to get engaged in earthquake preparedness in Nepal as well, which could come up in our next strategy.

One response to “Earthquake in Nepal”

  1. Suman Dhun Shrestha Says:

    I’m glad to know that Practical Action will work out for earthquake preparedness in their next strategy. Hope earthquake won’t hit Nepal before that.

    Through this article, I saw the Earthquake resistant housing (Improved Quincha) at Peru by P.A which i think will be useful for villages of Nepal. Because the urban areas definitely needs at least few storeyed buildings.

    I want to put forward my ideas for urban areas that are most vulnerable to earthquake, which are as follows:
    – Earthquake resistant building is must
    – So implementation of building code is necessary, for this, may be future projects would have to help capacity building of government institutions i.e. Building code friendly construction monitoring and supervision by engineers from municipality.
    – Preparation of Hazard map which have clearly shows most safe, safe and hazardous zone at the study area.
    – Plan for immediate move from hazardous zone to safest zone in the area. (E.g. Notice boards or wall paintings showing ways to reach to safest place for an area could be placed)
    – Emergency relief material package should be made available at the safest area.

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